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Programming/Templates for Motocross Racing

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  • Programming/Templates for Motocross Racing

    Hi BBM,

    I have scoured the internet for advice on my situation, but have found nothing from a source I trust.

    I am a 25 year old male, 6’1”, 180 lbs. I have previously ran the Starting Strength program with great success, but have not touched a barbell in over two years, so I am completely detrained. My focus for training is to improve my ability to ride dirt bikes, and I plan to race next season starting in March.

    This will require first an foremost, endurance. MX is extremely exhausting and I find myself getting tired and my hands start cramping in a matter of a few laps. Racing 20 minute sessions without getting dangerously tired wont happen in my current state.

    I also desperately need help with flexibility. Standing with knees locked, I am only able to reach about halfway down my shin. When my riding coach puts me in the proper standing riding position, my hamstrings are actually in a stretch in what is supposed to be a dynamic position. This is making me less fluid on the bike, increasing my chances of injury, and causing me to exert more energy to make up for it.

    Lastly, lower body strength and endurance is needed to properly hold on to the bike, as well as a solid trunk to hold and maintain a proper position. I know that “doing my fahves” can address this, but combining that with endurance training is my concern.

    I currently practice on track 1-2 times a week. What template would be most applicable to my needs, and will I be able to recover properly between workout sessions through the week as well as days at the track?

    Thanks,
    Seth

  • #2
    Probably a question best suited for Jordan, so I'll leave it to him here.
    IG / YT

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    • #3
      Seth,

      Thanks for the Q. I have been involved in the sport for almost 20 years. I agree that the fitness demands of MX have many unique elements, though a general base of fitness does not need to be specific for mx (or any other sport) in my opinion. If you haven't been exercising at all, I'd recommend our Beginner Template.

      I also think if you're not a national-level B rider or higher, it's probably not necessary to have an MX-specific training program.

      To address a few of the things mentioned in your post:
      • The arm pump (acute exertional compartment syndrome) is more of a strength endurance thing than cardiorespiratory endurance thing and is likely to improve with riding.
      • It is unlikely your flexibility needs to be addressed in a general manner, e.g. improving your standing toe touch. Flexibility changes in response to activity and its imposed demand(s). I suspect with exercise and riding, your flexibility specific to both will improve. I also don't think the existing data shows a correlation between flexibility and injury or movement economy.
      • I do not think that doing a program solely based around "fahves" is appropriate for building a broad base of fitness.
      -Jordan
      Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
      ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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      • #4
        Jordan, out of curiosity, what elements would an MX-specific program have that differ from any of the other BBM templates?

        I ask because I’m an avid mountain biker who does some racing. I’m sometimes tempted to try mountain bike specific strength training programs created by trainers of some of the top pros such as fit4racing or performx. However those programs honestly don’t seem that great to me - aside from a smattering of barbell movements they have a lot of balancing on a medicine ball while pressing 10 lb dumbbells or the like. The programs emphasize form and body awareness. Is there anyone out there who would actually benefit more from such a program over any of the BBM templates?

        Genuinely scratching my head at these programs and the pros who endorse them. It feels unfair to simply dismiss them as genetic gods who are hawking suboptimal programs but then again that’s why I’m asking.

        I included a link as an example but feel free to delete if it’s against the rules.

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        • #5
          I think most of the self-selected strength training elements would be similar to our non-PL templates, but the conditioning would be sports-specific after a base had been built. I think most of the programs are garbage as well. Many of these sports are skill and conditioning heavy, which doesn't necessitate a great strength program.
          Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
          ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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          • #6
            Thanks, Jordan

            I went ahead and bought the beginner template, but reading it I don't see any strict nutritional guidelines other than protein intake. Should I be attempting to gain weight as aggressively as I did while on the SS program? Do I have to do GOMAD again?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Seth C View Post
              Thanks, Jordan

              I went ahead and bought the beginner template, but reading it I don't see any strict nutritional guidelines other than protein intake. Should I be attempting to gain weight as aggressively as I did while on the SS program? Do I have to do GOMAD again?
              Hey Seth,

              Glad to point you in the right direction. There are no unique nutritional guidelines for someone on that program and weight management should be guided primarily by the health proxy, body fat. If someone's BMI is > 30, I think they'd benefit from losing weight. Similarly, if their waist circumference is > 37" (man) or 31.5" (woman), they'd probably benefit from losing weight as well. Outside of that, it's mostly personal preference.

              I do not think rapid weight gain is ever advisable and I don't think GOMAD is the ticket either. Our dietary rec's are, in general:
              1. Total daily Calorie intake should achieve healthy body fat and muscle mass levels, while also supporting appropriate amounts of physical activity. Vegetarian and vegan approaches can be utilized based on individual preferences, as vegans and vegetarians tend to eat an average of 600 and 263 fewer Calories per day compared to those who eat both plants and meat, respectively. Clarys 2014
              2. Total dietary protein intake should fall between 1.6-3.1 grams per kilogram body weight per day, unless medically contraindicated. Those who are gaining or maintaining weight should aim for the lower to middle-range, whereas those who are losing weight and/or who have risk factors for anabolic resistance may aim for the middle to upper range. For those able to consume protein within this range, we are not concerned about animal/marine versus plant sources of protein, as plant protein sources appear to be equivalent to animal protein sources when dosed at this level. In contrast, this distinction may have more relevance for individuals needing to consume a protein-restricted diet. Babault 2015,Joy 2013, Hartman 2007
              3. Total dietary fiber intake should be at least 25-30 grams per day, ideally sourced from vegetables, fruits, and complex carbohydrate sources. Reynolds 2019 We recommend eating as many servings of fruits and vegetables as is consistent with the total calorie and protein goals mentioned above. Fiber intake may also mitigate some of the potential negative effects of a diet high in saturated fat. Wallstrom 2012
              4. Dietary fat intake should be primarily unsaturated, e.g. from marine and plant sources, with saturated fat limited to approximately 10% or less of total Calories. When replacing saturated fat with other nutrients, we recommend foods rich in PUFA, MUFA, or complex carbohydrates depending on an individual’s preferences, Calorie goal, and individual response to the diet. This recommendation is strongest for those at elevated cardiovascular risk. With respect to red meat, the current recommendation of limiting intake to 12-18 ounces of cooked red meat per week is reasonable, although we feel less strongly about this if the the other criteria above are being met. Processed red meat should be limited to less than 1.7 ounces (50 grams) per day.
              Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
              ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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